When it comes to consumer drones, if you’re looking for the model/s which can fly the furthest on the market, there’s actually 7 different options, all coming from the DJI brand, and they all have the potential to go about 7-8 kilometers (circumstances permitting).
Thus far, there are no other models other than these 7 I will mention that can fly further. In addition, these same options can not only go crazy far, but they can also shoot incredible footage. So here they are, in no specific order, with their price.
The key with these ranges is the connection. Ocusync is what you want, as it’s the best there is.
1) Phantom 4 (regular): $1,000, 7-8 kilometer range.
This beautiful drone shoots incredibly well with a 12 MP, 4K camera and flies incredibly far. My rank for this model is 80 points (out of 100).
2) Phantom 4 standard: $1,300, also the same range.
It only upside to this model vs the one above is a superior camera. 85 points.
3) Phantom 4 Pro: $1,500. same range.
It’s got a sick camera, a sick range, especially with V2.0 out and a lot of sensors for safety which is why it’s so expensive. 95 points.
4) Phantom 4 pro +. $1,800. Also 7-8 km.
Literally, it’s the same drone as #3, but you get a cool, custom screen attached to the remote controller. 95 points.
Note: The above 4 models literally have the same body. In other words, they look exactly the same, but there are some noticeable difference such as the sensors in #3 and #4, that stand out.
For specific specs on the above 4 models and how they are different from one another, here is an article that compares them, but without a doubt, they all have the SAME range potential.
Now I’m listing a lot of different Phantom models, and they have different titles, but do you know the difference between them? If not, here is an article that comes them.
Now moving on…
5) Mavic Pro. $899.
While it is a smaller, more portable model than the Phantom options above, it flies equally as far as they do (7-8 kilometers). 90 points from me and yes I own one, here are my experiences with it 🙂
6) DJI Inspire 1. $1,999 for JUST the aircraft.
This model and the next are the only 2 choices where you have to buy the drone and camera separately, the others above, come with both. But the Inspire 1 is one of the models where the range is “iffy” meaning that it can either fly a few kilometers, or in some cases and range tests I’ve seen, well beyond 10 kilometers, although the average range is also around the 7-8 km level.
I rate it at 90 out of 100 stars and despite the price, the score is actually not much higher than that or a Phantom 4 Pro because many argue the camera on the P4P is better, the battery life is longer and in addition to other perks, it’s just a better investment. Never the less, we are talking about range here, so the Inspire has to be mentioned…
7) Inspire 2. $2,999, again for only the aircraft.
I give this one 99 out of 100 stars. It has a 7-8 potential distance flight, absolutely sickeningly GREAT footage and camera options that go all the way up to 7K filming potential, although the cameras are extremely costly on their own and again, separately purchased aside from the aircraft and they can run you between $2,000-$4,000.
Bonus: An 8th one made the list (And it is the best)…
8) Mavic Pro 2. $1,425.
This one has the longest range out of the rest on the list, it was just released and can get up to 8 KM. It also has the best connection system out of all the others, known as ocusync 2.0. Learn more here.
So which one is the best? Well…
For distance: They all rock but in my experience, the Mavic Pro 2 is the best. It’s max range is also more likely to happen due to that ocusync connection. Each drone on this list, despite it’s range potential holds one of 2 different connection modes:
Lightbridge (the phantom models) and ocusync (The Mavic models and currently the Phantom 4 Pro, V2.0). I explain the differences here.
I’ve done various range tests and the drones with the ocusync mode get way further and closer to their max range potential.
So while the answer to which drone has the best range has been answered, there’s more than just that to judge a drone by, so you really have to look at other specs to determine the best one, the specs being…
Price: I’ve given you a list of the estimated prices of each model, so let your budget help you choose here. Right now, the cheapest model out of the bunch is the Mavic Pro while the most expensive is the Inspire (for professionals) with the Phantom 4 Pro being in the middle.
Portability: There is no question that the Mavic is the best here, being the smallest, most compact and still giving you a crazy footage in the process. If you travel a lot, hike a lot, this is the option you need. The Mavic Pro 2 is also on this list, but it’s SLIGHTLY larger than the original Mavic Pro.
Back to the range topic: Do you really need a drone that flies this far?
I ask this question because in many cases, having a model that can go up to 7-8 km is something you may never need to use. There’s many laws in certain countries which restrict your ability to fly this far anyway (only within line of sight), but it’s not something that many drone pilots follow anyway, do this at your own risk.
If you’re the type who is looking for a well rounded drone, meaning the type that flies far, shoots as well as it can, you’re going to be very happy with the choices I listed above then…
My pick is the Mavic Pro 2 out of the bunch for having the best specs in all the fields I listed, except the price. #2 out of this list would be the regular Mavic Pro, because it’s also awesome and it’s the cheapest.
But consider how far you’re realistically ever going to fly in combination with the budget you set and let that help you choose from the drones above.
I like to test my models and fly far, but even in my cases, I’ve never had a reason to go beyond 4 km and that to me was plenty. Most of the time, when you film, it’ll be in an area where the aircraft will not fly far away from you and you’ll need to keep it in eyesight to make sure you’re not violating any laws as well as ensuring it’s safely flying around.
That being said, as of 2018, there are NO drone models other than these 8 that fly the furthest. Which model would you pick based on this?
Note: I know Autel Evo people will tell me I missed this model, but I haven’t, most tests show that it can’t get close to it’s 7 KM range, and because it doesn’t use a strong signal to reach the drone, it’s usually going to result in a flaky connection. I like this drone, but it can’t make this list, sorry.
If you decide to try and fly one of these models to test these max ranges out, here are drone range tips to make sure you do that without issues.